Western Province Rugby Football Union President Tobie Titus is standing firm in the ongoing debate about his union moving their home base from Newlands to the new Cape Town Stadium.
Recent media reports have suggested that renewed talks were taking place about WP and the Stormers moving permanently to the ultramodern new stadium in Green Point.
However, Titus, an outspoken opponent of a move away from Newlands, said no such decision has been taken and no such decision is pending.
"Whilst, as in the recent past, talks with the City as to a possible future move to Cape Town Stadium remain open, no decision has been taken by WPRFU as to a move to Cape Town Stadium," Titus said in a statement published on the WP website.
"Whilst we continue to remain open to considering our position, a considerable number of important elements would need to be resolved, including what the best financial model for WP Rugby would be.
"Any decision would need to be taken by the General Council of the WPRFU.
"At the moment no such decision has been taken and no such decision is pending.
"WPRFU will continue to play all official league Super Rugby, Currie Cup and Test rugby at Newlands.” added Titus.
However, the chorus of voices for a move to the new venue is not just growing, it is now including some illustrious names.
Iconic former Springbok and WP captain Morné du Plessis is one of those who feel the stodgy old-boys club that is the WPRFU should have a change of heart.
Speaking to this website after a media briefing to announce that English champions Saracens will play French glamour club Biarritz in a European Cup match at Cape Town Stadium in January next year, Du Plessis said he hopes the WPRFU will "see the bigger picture".
"Hopefully this will not be the last time and hopefully Saracens' other 'home ground' will be Cape Town," Du Plessis said - after Grant Pascoe, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, revealed on Thursday that the match between Sarries and Biarritz, to be played on January 14, would be the first European Cup clash played outside of Europe.
Du Plessis, who is now a member of the Saracens' board of directors, confirmed that he is a supporter of the view that rugby should permanently relocate to the new stadium.
"When I was involved with the management of the stadium [in Greenpoint] my feelings about this was well known," Du Plessis told this website.
"I feel it is a matter of time before rugby must make use of these facilities - not just Cape Town, but all over [the country].
"However, it must be commercially viable for rugby.
"WP do have stumbling blocs - the suite holders, season ticket holders, and there are many aspects that must be resolved. But eventually rugby will be played here [at the Cape Town stadium] and I have no doubt about that.
"But we have to be patient and accept that it is in their hands to make those decision and take the steps and nobody else - we have to respect that."
By Jan de Koning
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